Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Painter Man - Deux

From the BBC website

A US casino mogul has pulled out of a deal to sell his Picasso painting for a record $139m (£74m) after accidentally elbowing a hole in the middle.

Mr Wynn, known for gesturing with hands while speaking, was showing the painting at his office at Wynn Las Vegas when he struck it with his right elbow, spokeswoman Denise Randazzo said.

Director and screenwriter Nora Ephron was at the incident and wrote about it on a blog site.

She said Mr Wynn raised his hand then "at that moment, his elbow crashed backward right through the canvas. There was a terrible noise".

"Smack in the middle... was a black hole the size of a silver dollar. 'Look what I've done' he said. 'Thank goodness it was me.'"

Wynn had bought the painting for 48 million dollars in 1997. Had this deal gone through this would have become the most expensive painting ever sold, surpassing the 135 million dollars paid for Gustav Klimt's Adele Bloch-Bauer I in July this year. Now this dude is a billionaire and it seems he has quite an art collection. He paid 17.4 million dollars for a Cézanne self-portrait and 23.5 million dollars for a Renoir in May 2003. He hangs these paintings in his casinos. He is an art collector. Does it automatically mean he is an art lover?

Given the prices it seems pretty hard for an art lover to be an art collector and does the vice versa can hold true? Is it hard for an art collector to be an art lover? Surely I feel. Wynn is careless enough to damage a 75 year old masterpiece when showing it off and all he has to say is 'Look what I've done' - Even if he were a very stoic person I think that's too nonchalant an exclamation from someone who has just irrevocably damaged an irreplaceable and priceless piece of art. Surely the gravity of the situation calls for some display of emotion? I would expect an art lover to show remorse and maybe great anger, not a 'Look what I've done'. I would expect someone to say that when he punches a hole in the cookie jar not in a Picasso. But then Wynn is an art collector.


Kenneth said...

I may have been a little harsh on Mr Wynn. I should add that the article had also mentioned that he suffers from an eye disease affecting peripheral vision.

shanky said...

kenneth, there is a bunch of people who collect art coz they love it and there is a bigger bunch who collect art just as an investment. mr.wynn appears to fall into the second category.

i am not against ppl who being totally ignorant about art collect them as mere investment - these are the people who nurture lot of contemporary artists. without ppl like mr.wynn out there, lot of ppl who take up art as a profession, might end up being software engineers. that would increase the competition for us. :-)

Kenneth said...

Shanky - Can someone learn how to appreciate art? I really want to know why some paintings cost so much and why some are not worth anything at all.

shanky said...

a valid question and i have no answer.
why a dress by ritu beri or hemant trivedi costs thousands when a similar one made my a local darji sells for 100?
maybe when it comes to fashion and art, if you can strive and create a brand value, ppl are ready to pay huge amount for your name than for your work.

Zk said...

Shanky,agree that fashion designers' works are expensive and one pays for the name but one also pays for the creativity, fabric,design,newness,quality.. perhaps your local darji's work wont match up to it.... and if it does please let me know his address :)